Creative Director, Best Youth Theatre Director, Feelgood Factor Teacher & Best School of Acting Principal
Lisa’s spent her lifetime in the arts and is passionate about the positive effects it can have on us all. In her teens Lisa supported herself working as a children’s entertainer – where she realised she loved working with young people and bringing them joy through performance and fun.
A full time musical theatre stage school kid, she then followed her dream of becoming an actress by gaining a 1st Class Hons degree in Theatre Arts, Performance and English at University then followed by a Masters in Acting at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, receiving the first post graduate full bursary funding. On graduating, Lisa toured extensively for 7 years across the UK and Europe in acting roles, from Shakespeare to Soap Opera, in Stratford Upon Avon and Manchester to London. Lisa’s career highlight was 100 shows playing Marianne Dashwood in the stage premier of Sense and Sensibility. Whilst building up her TV and film work, presenting for BBC London, and playing a lead in a British Television Award winning film, Lisa began teaching and directing.
Lisa taught Acting, Voice Theory and LAMDA for Italia Conti for 8 years and has directed and run numerous youth theatres including Snap, Trestle, and our now twice National Theatre Connections selected Best Youth Theatre.
Lisa has worked as a role actor and corporate workshop facilitator for over 20 years specialising in Conflict Management. Clients include the NHS, Barclays Bank, Tetra Pak and the Police.
After working on numerous mental health and wellbeing projects for theatre companies, councils and charities as a performer, writer, director and workshop facilitator Lisa set up Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company in 2007, with the aim to involve, inform and inspire people to lead happier lives, her work and mental wellbeing and relationship projects have reached over ½ million young people.
Lisa's husband Drew is an ex-trapeze performer, circus expert and engineer who often helps on our set designs and builds.
Helping young people find themselves, find their voice and find their light through the performing arts for 25 years.
Meet The Team
Best Youth Theatre Director, Best School of Musical Theatre (St Albans) Acting Teacher and The Company Acting Teacher
Dawn gained a professional diploma in dance from Laban and a degree in music and dance from Roehampton and continued to develop her love of drama and acting taking many different courses across the next 20 years. She follows her passion for music and playing instruments by leading choirs and bringing songs and music to life across her roles at Best.
Dawn has numerous teaching qualification from working with early years through to adults.
Dawn has performed and toured with a diverse range of companies including The Royal Opera House, Unicorn Children’s Theatre, Pentabus, Forest Forge, Box Clever and Tall stories.
As a facilitator Dawn has many years of experience and has taught for the education departments of both the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe.
As ‘Artist in Residence’ she has worked to develop creativity in the curriculum in several primary schools and is an associate of The Map Consortium, designing and delivering professional development training to organisations in the UK and Europe.
She has also worked with Trestle Theatre for 10 years, and leads their integrated groups -‘Sing Up’ and ‘Dance Now’. She has also been spotted conducting large flashmobs of community choirs in St Albans city centre.
Best School of Musical Theatre (St Albans) Dance Teacher and The Company Dance Teacher
Jasmine loves to get people moving, grooving, and feeling confident! She is passionate about encouraging young people to find their creative voices through movement and performance.
After graduating the University of Exeter with a BA in Drama, she went on to study an MA in Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Since then, Jasmine was a part of the 2017/18 cohort of Overture, a community dance programme run by New Adventures Dance Company.
Jasmine’s work spans opera, theatre, dance, and film, with notable moments including working with English National Opera on two critically-acclaimed productions, and being a part of the small team bringing Disney Musicals in Schools to London. Movement director on 'Rain and Zoe Save the World' at The Jermyn Street Theatre "An inspired piece of physical theatre" The Stage
Jasmine is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider for both adults and young people.
Head of Early Years, Best Beginners and Best Beans Teacher
Rebecca Briley is an Actor and Childrens Entertainer, who trained in BA (hons) in Physical Theatre at East 15 Acting School, during which time she gained a range of skills including mask and mime, Theatre in Education, puppetry and movement but found a particular interest in storytelling and clowning.
Since graduating, Beckie has performed across a variety of platforms including Film and TV as well as devising her own work for stage, and has collaborated with many theatre companies as an assistant choreographer. She has also been lucky enough to work with multiple TIE companies in the UK and in Italy, where she began to fall in love with teaching and facilitating specialised workshops for all ages.
In 2013, Beckie became a member of ‘The Flying Seagull Project’, a UK based Children’s Charity whose aim is to spread joy and laughter to those who need it most across the globe through circus, clown and play. With several years of humanitarian clowning under her belt, she became a core team leader and facilitated activities for displaced children and families on the ground in Calais, Greece and Lebanon.
The Feelgood Factor Lead
Catherine has worked both on-stage and behind the scenes as an Actor, Producer, Director and Writer.
Having studied at the University of Hull she trained under Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and has worked in Theatre, TV and Film since graduating.
Catherine has run her own touring theatre company and been the Artistic Director of the Gordon Craig Theatre for over ten years. She has experience of working on plays, pantomime and musicals as well as heading up a large education department working with young people aged between 3 and 18 years old.
Catherine writes musicals with award-winning choreographer Khiley Williams and West End Musical Director Phil Dennis. Together they have written over twenty musicals that tour nationwide.
Catherine can be heard as one of the Showbiz panellist for BBC 3 Counties and is also one half of the Post Show Drinks Podcast interviewing team for Encore Radio in which West End stars spill all the behind the scenes tales.
Khiley adores teaching and is passionate about the next generation of performers.
As well as being a highly successful LAMDA coach she is also a theatre director and choreographer having worked on Singing in the Rain, The Producers, Oklahoma, Oliver and Aladdin.
Her many years of working as both a director and choreographer have helped build an amazing skill set to inspire her classes and teach children exactly what it takes to be a great performer.
Khiley teaches Early Stages, LAMDA, drama, dance (ballet, tap, jazz) & musical theatre.
Best School of Acting and Feelgood Factor Teacher
Andrew has worked as an actor, director, musician, and composer on commercial and educational briefs that span a huge variety of contexts over many years. In the commercial sphere, he has devised shows for the Minnack Theatre in Cornwall, directed Shakespeare, classic children’s theatre, touring comedy shows and celebrity pantomimes. As a composer, he has published twenty-two songs which have charted globally and have toured as a musician with Nick Heyward and Yusuf Blayachi among others.
Andrew is also a teacher and the artistic director in residence at the Elstree Screen Arts academy. Here, he teaches acting, acting for screen, singing, piano and musical theatre as well as producing numerous high end school shows, showcases and reviews. Part of his remit at the school has been as a conduit to the performing arts industry and as such he has brought in agents, film studio executives and fellow professional performers to enrich, and make relevant, the skills and realities of the industry.
At the core of his work is a belief in nurturing participation and personal investment in the arts through meaningful experience and tangible skills development, in which drama is an incredibly useful and powerfully immediate tool.
Best Hertford & Ware Director, Best School of Acting Teacher & Best School of Musical Theatre (Hertford & Ware) Acting Teacher
Hannah is an actor, theatre director, drama tutor and theatre maker.
She's often described as a big ball of energy and has performed across the UK as an actor for many years, alongside working with young people in the performing arts across the country. She says "I have a real knack for improvising and working with children. I find a real joy in making children laugh and letting them escape into a world of fantasy where anything is possible!"
We are thrilled to welcome her as the new Director for our Hertford & Ware Musical Theatre branch in 2023!
Best School of Musical Theatre (St Albans) Singing Teacher
Born and raised in Malta, Amy trained in musical theatre from the tender age of three, with the initial stage school she attended being her entryway into theatre. Amy then went on to train in Classical Voice with ABRSM. She is a Musical Theatre and Dance Teacher Training graduate from MPAA which works along the ISTD and is now part of the University of West London. Alongside her teaching career, Amy has been and is currently a working performer with her last contract just finishing last year.
As a performer who still attends classes, I love to bring what I learn myself to my classes to make sure they’re as current as possible. My teaching style is very student focused with my main aim being to build up student’s performance skills and confidence at a bespoke level. While I believe that technique and skill is extremely important, my main aim for my classes is to create a safe space for them to grow and be the best version of themselves.
Best School of Musical Theatre (Hertford & Ware) Dance Teacher
Lillie-Mae is an actress, dancer and singer who, at the age of 10, made her professional theatre debut playing Margaret Gormley in the West End’s “Billy Elliot The Musical” at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Lillie-Mae is an alumni of Italia Conti Theatre Arts School London (2020) and The Urdang Academy, London (2023). Other credits include, ITV’s “Fool Britannia”, Idina Menzel and Michael Buble’s “Baby I’s Cold Outside” music video, and London’s West End production of “13 The Musical”, playing the lead role of Kendra.‘
Best School of Musical Theatre (Hertford & Ware) Singing Teacher
Molly started performing at the age of 3 beginning with Ballet and since then has always known it was her love and passion. She began her career not long after in TV and Film, such as Holby City, Eastenders and Ali G The Movie, and hasn’t stopped since, always rehearsing for at least one show at a time.
Working at Best is Molly’s weekly get away and bundle of happiness who says, “I love nothing more than watching the students at Best grow as not only performers but individuals too. I am proud to have worked as Bests Hertford singing teacher for over a year now and plan to stay for many years to come. Without the stage, life would be a whole lot duller.”
Best Beginners & Best Beans (St Albans) Early Years Teacher
Since graduating from The Bridge Theatre Training Company in 2009, Jenanne has worked in many areas of the industry and has a love of children's theatre and storytelling. Theatre credits include Mummy in the Olivier Award nominated THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA (UK tour, West End, Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE, China, Australia, Bahrain), Sally in SPOT’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (UK tour). Christmas shows include playing the Role Poly Bird in David Wood’s adaptation of THE TWITS and Greenfly in David Wood’s THE PLOTTERS OF CABBAGE PATCH CORNER. Jenanne also sings as part of a close part harmony trio SOME SWELL SISTERS as well as performing in various immersive theatre positions, working as Maze Master Scuba J at THE CRYSTAL MAZE LIVE in London’s Trocadero and all roles at TOMB RAIDER LIVE, London. Jenanne has a Best Beginner and Bestbean herself who love the classes too.
With two decades in the industry, Mike has performed in Musicals in the West End and Number one UK Tours, TV, Film & Straight plays. As well as teaching Lamda here at Best Mike also teaches at Several Performing arts colleges in London and also runs Musical Theatre Associate programmes all around the UK,
Social media – @denmantheatre
A selection of theatre credits include: Henry Ribelow in Syncopation (Vienna English Theatre)Trevor in Bedroom Farce (Gordon Craig Theatre) Pawnee Bill in Annie Get Your Gun (Crucible Theatre Sheffield), Don Lockwood in Singing In The Rain (Gordon Craig Theatre Stevenage) The Stalker in The Bodyguard (Original cast UK Tour), Henchman/understudy Mr Wormwood in Matilda RSC (Cambridge Theatre London), Jack Frost in Santa Claus (Grand Theatre Singapore), Understudy Polegrave in Nation (National Theatre London), The Wizard Of Oz (London Palladium), Understudy Jose in Never Forget (Savoy Theatre London), Understudy Billy Flynn in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre and Cambridge Theatre London), Gremio/understudy Bill Calhoun in Kiss me Kate (Original Cast UK Tour), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shaftesbury Theatre London), Louis in On Your Toes (Royal Festival Hall) Understudy Double J and Guss in Saturday NightFever (Musical Dome Cologne Germany).
Film and television include: William Hill online bingo commercial, Nation (NT Live Worldwide Broadcast), Paddington 2 and Beyond The Sea. Several award winning short films including -The Boy With A Camera For A Face, Saving Cain and Bluebird. Strictly Dance Fever (ITV) All Time Greatest Love Songs (BBC) and a few Royal Variety Performances.